Taiwan earthquake: Strong tremors strikes off Yilan County

PUBLISHED Wed, May 11, 2016 - 11:29pm EDT
Credit: Google

Two earthquakes with preliminary magnitudes of 5.8 and 5.5 have struck just off the coast of northeast Taiwan, with shaking felt across Yilan County and the capital Taipei, seismologists say. No tsunami warnings have been issued. (more)

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The first earthquake, which struck at 11:17 a.m. local time on Thursday, was centered about 19 kilometers (11 mi) east-southeast of Yilan County, or 60 kilometers (37 mi) southeast of Taipei. It struck at a shallow depth of just 17 kilometers (10 mi).

Yilan County experienced the strongest shaking, according to the Central Weather Bureau, with moderate shaking also observed in the capital Taipei, Hualien County, Taoyuan City, Hsinchu County, and other areas.

Just over an hour later, at 12:29 p.m., a second earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 struck the same region, according to the Central Weather Bureau. The second earthquake struck at a slightly more shallow depth and was as a result perceived by many residents to be stronger than the first one.

There was no immediate word on damage or casualties as a result of the earthquakes, but no tsunami alerts have been issued.

Located along the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, Taiwan is at times rattled by moderate to strong earthquakes. A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck central Taiwan in September 1999, killing at least 2,297 people and injuring nearly 9,000 others.

More recently, a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southwest Taiwan on February 6, killing 117 people and injuring more than 500 others.

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